As you enter your third trimester of pregnancy you are probably feeling the baby move frequently and will likely become slightly uncomfortable as the baby grows and your body prepares to give birth.
Your Body During the Third Trimester of Pregnancy
During the final trimester of pregnancy, your body will experience many changes, including:
- Fatigue – Extra baby weight, a growing uterus and the shifting of other organs to make room for your growing baby mean your body now requires a little more rest.
- Breast enlargement: With delivery drawing near, your breasts are changing. The nipples are larger and darker and the Montgomery glands on the surface of the areola are more pronounced. Your breasts are larger and as much as 2 pounds heavier. They may leak yellow colostrum, the liquid that will nourish your baby in the first few days.
- Vaginal discharge: Increased vaginal discharge is normal now and you may pass the sticky mucus plug that seals the cervix during pregnancy. Large amounts of fluid or a sudden rush of fluid could indicate you are leaking amniotic fluid or your water has broken – if this happens notify your obstetrician right away.
- Braxton Hicks contractions: These uterine contractions are common and mimic real labor. Braxton Hicks contractions are typically mild, irregular and infrequent. Unlike true labor, they don’t progress in intensity or frequency.
- Urinary frequency: As your baby grows, pressure on the bladder causes frequent urination. Call your OB/GYN if you experience any burning, pain or other symptoms of urinary tract infection.
Obstetric Visits During the Third Trimester of Pregnancy
Your OB/GYN visits will become more frequent as you approach your due date. In the final month of pregnancy, weekly appointments will be scheduled.
During appointments your blood pressure and weight will be monitored. Vaginal exams will be done to check your baby’s position along with cervical examinations to check for softening and dilatation. Screenings for gestational diabetes, anemia and group B strep (a common bacterium that can be passed to your baby) may also be performed.
These visits are a good time to discuss your labor and delivery plan, including any personal preferences. Remember to write down any questions you may have and bring them with you to appointments.